Carnegie Mellon University

Franklin "Pitch" Johnson

Founder, Asset Management Company


Mr. Franklin Pitcher (“Pitch”) Johnson was co-founder in 1962 of Draper and Johnson Investment Company, venture capital company, and became an independent venture capitalist in 1965 as the founder of Asset Management Company. Asset Management Company has made over 250 venture investments during its 50 years of operation. These have included Amgen, Applied Bio Systems, Applied Micro Circuits, Conductus, Hybritech, IDEC Pharmaceuticals, Octel, Qume, Red Brick Systems, Remedy, Sierra Semiconductor, Tandem Computer, Teradyne and Verity. He was a director of many of those companies and is presently a director of four private companies. He is also a past director of the National Venture Capital Association, a past president of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists, and was a trustee of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District for 12 years. He also developed and taught a class in entrepreneurship and venture capital at the Stanford Graduate School of Business for 12 years (1979-1990) and is still active on the faculty there. He has served as an advisor to several eastern European countries since 1990 in the area of entrepreneurship and privatization, and has helped form venture funds in several countries. He is active in educational and cultural affairs and served as chairman of the board of San Francisco Opera from 1999-2008. Pitch has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University (1950) and an MBA from the Harvard Business School (1952). He served two years as a USAF aircraft maintenance officer and worked eight years in open hearth steel production at Inland Steel Company before entering the venture capital business.

Asset Management Company, a proprietorship of Mr. Johnson is now primarily a family financial management office.